West Coast Styles

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Speech of Arrested Development took us all to “Tennessee” with his chill yet soulful rhyme delivery. At one point, Arrested Development was a house-hold name in the mid-90’s with the group re-vamping Sly & The Family Stone’s “Everyday People”, the aforementioned “Tennessee”, and the tale of “Mr. Wendell”. Speech recently hooked up with our own Todd “DG” Davis for an exclusive WCS HipHop50 interview. Read on!

First things first, this year (August 11th) marked the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop — What exactly does that mean to and for you? 
Speech: It surprises me, because as a non-New Yorker, [born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin] I didn’t realize nor know when exactly it started, but obviously WAY before my introduction to it, which was “Rapper’s Delight,” it also brings to me a TON OF GRATITUDE to the pioneers and the activists that helped make it spread. I would later become one of them artists / activists being the first Hip Hop artist in my city to release a Hip Hop maxi-single, plus as a DJ, the first to scratch and mix breaks!

To quote the late, great The Notorious B.I.G., “You never thought that Hip Hop would take it this far!” — Was this something that you ever could’ve imagined?
Speech: I definitely knew that it wasn’t a fad! And with every breath in me, I wanted to personally make sure of that! So, as a DJ in the early days, I MADE SURE that I bought ALL the newest and dopest Hip Hop joints, then introduced people in my area to it.
What are some of your fondest, most stand-out moments / memories from your lengthy tenure in this thing called Hip Hop?
Speech: The arena that I used to go see all of my musical heroes in, me and Arrested Development headlined! And at that time, we were also touring throughout the U.S. with a festival tour called Lollapalooza. So we had a 3pm show for 20,000 people in Denver, Colorado, darted off stage right after our last song, police escorts all the way to the Denver FBO airport, and boarded a private jet to Milwaukee. Then police escorts with sirens blaring took us from the FBO airport in Milwaukee straight to the stage, where the opening act literally JUST GOT OFF!  We did a quick line check [fast sound check] and ROCKED THE ENTIRE ARENA! Sold out show with all of my friends, family and peers! One of the top experiences of my life!
That said, what are your future plans and / or goals throughout the remainder of 2023, going right into ‘24? 
Speech: I do corporate speaking engagements, where I speak on Brave Leadership…plus, I do a podcast called “Track Change,” where I talk about my experiences working with prison inmates. Lastly, we’ve been working on a secret double album, called Bullets In The Chamber. It’s been over a year working on it, and it’s truly a masterpiece!
Switching gears here, what exactly do you want people to get from your music?       
Speech: First of all, high level entertainment. The type of entertainment where you know they put a lot of care and work into. Secondly, messages of hope, inspiration and love!
On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of Hip Hop? 
Speech: No, I think it deserves to Evolve and in many ways it’s DEvolved [gone backwards]. Especially as far as respect for the artists that came before you and the determination to steadily improve the craft.
What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?  
Speech: The fans giving a F***! Because we definitely do. As long as the fans continue to as well, then things will continue to be amazing! Right now, we’re at 31 years and most of our shows are still selling out!     
Do you have any other outside / additional (future) aspirations, maybe even completely away from entertainment?
Speech: Retiring. Within my near future, whether that’s a year or a decade from now, I’m out. But if it’s up to me, I WILL NOT be doing music after ten more years.
What’s an average day like for you?
Speech: My life works in MODES. If I’m in chill mode, it’s very relaxing. I live on acres of land in the countryside. I love nature walks, fireplaces and good documentaries, or even reality shows with my wife, quality time with my two grown kids or meditating on books. Other modes are tour mode and recording mode. Those are crazy hectic! Late hours, a lot of socializing around the world and tons of transition and time travel [Various time zones].
Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans… 
Speech: My biggest interaction is giving them top notch output. Secondarily, on social media I respond and interact. Lastly, for shows there are many times when we are the LAST people in the venue (other than staff) because we signed everyone’s merchandise. We care.
What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why? 
Speech: Great Live shows, because there’s nothing like feeling real time ENERGY from people you’ve never met, it sorta feels sexual; it’s intimate, passionate and exhilarating. My least favorite is the business part. There’s more sharks in this industry than there are dolphins. And generally as artists we’re more heart people by nature, we prefer peace and justice. The sharks are all about money.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Speech: Don’t do it! LOL! Just kidding, although I’m sorta honest about that. It’s a hard road doing conscious and mindful music. There’s many times where the effort you put in does not match the reward that you get out of it. They say ignorance is bliss, that’s not far from the truth. My advice though is to be YOU and not a carbon copy of someone else.
Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you see yourself?    
Speech: Retired and at peace. Proud of the work I’ve done. Very proud.
Is there anything I left out or just plain forgot to mention?    
Sign up for our mailing list. Go to ADtheBand.com and stay in touch with us, we’re about to drop some major stuff.
Any “parting” words for our readers?
Speech:Thank you for supporting us, we deeply appreciate all of you!


Peace & Love,


Speech of Arrested Development joins us for an exclusive WCS HipHop50 interview!

Speech of Arrested Development joins us for an exclusive WCS HipHop50 interview!

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